Lumber & Metal Information:


What is it?

Laser cutter Items are made to be compatible with the laser cutters found across the SAIC campus. Please note that there is some variation in composition, thickness, and size between individual sheets which can cause some differences in how the items are cut. We advise running a test where possible!

For more information on what materials are compatible with SAIC laser cutters please see:

Actual dimensions: 

Laser Cutter materials may have an outer dimension variance of +/- 0.5” on all sides. Please allow for such variances and measure thoroughly.

Actual Thickness:

Laser cutter thickness may have a variance of +0.02” to -0.04”. Please allow for such variances and measure thoroughly.

LUMBER SHEET GOODS (4 ft x 8 ft)

Please note: Our 4 ft x 8 ft sheet goods may not be used on the laser cutter due to compositional differences from laser cutter products that may make them unsafe or difficult to cut.

Baltic Birch Plywood

What is it?

Also known as ‘Russian’ Birch, is a hardwood plywood made up of (you guessed it) birch grown in the Baltic region. It is a grade bb/bb, which means it has minor patching on both faces, but plys will be fairly consistent. It is manufactured using metric measures, but we’ve assigned standard sizes to keep the sizing consistent with other products.

Actual dimensions: 

Actual thickness:

1/4” = .23622” (6mm)

1/2” = .472441” (12mm)

3/4” = .708661” (18mm)

Not Laser Compatible: 

The 4’x8’ sheet of Baltic birch the SAIC Material Source Centers carry is NOT compatible with any laser cutter on campus. If you would like to laser cut plywood please use the ‘Utility Birch Plywood’ in pre-cut laser cutter sizes.


What is it?

A Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) composite material that contains no added formaldehyde.

Actual dimensions: 

49” x 97”

Not Laser Cutter Compatible:

Arries MDF is not permitted for use on the laser cutters on campus


Pine (2” x 4” x 8’): 

What is it?

Standard stud grade. It will have many knots and should be checked for warping before use.

Please note: We are currently changing our grade slightly to increase shelf-life. Double check that the material works for your project before purchase 3/22/2024

Actual dimensions: 

1-1/2” x 3-1/2” x 96”

Finger-Jointed Poplar (2” x 4” x 8’):

What is it?

Poplar that is custom milled and joined for strength and warping resistance. This product is especially recommended for painting stretchers.

Actual dimensions: 

1-7/16” x 3-7/16”x 8’

Poplar (1” x 4” x 8’):

What is it?

is milled and should have relatively clear surfaces, but because of it’s dimensions it warps more easily than thicker material.

Actual dimensions: 

3/4” x 3-1/2”


Additional information:

All Hardwoods, with the exception of Poplar and 16/4 Basswood, are unsurfaced. Poplar and Basswood are surfaced on two sides. All hardwoods have a straight line rip on one edge.

All Hardwoods are sold by the boardfoot (volume).

Actual thickness:

Thickness varies slightly, especially as some of the lumber is unfinished. Please measure and allow for slight changes.


Non-Ferrous Metals:

What is it?

Metal sheets and wire to be used for a variety of purposes including jewelry making, sculpture, etching, and more. Please check our catalog list for locations and metal types.

Actual dimensions: 

Non-Ferrous metals are sized to 12”x12”

Wire can be purchased in by the foot (12”)

Composition & Properties:

Aluminum (1100): Maximum temp 200°F 

Brass (Yellow High Brass, Alloy 260): 70% Copper, 30% Zinc; 1706°F Melting Point

Bronze (Commercial Bronze, Alloy 220): 90% Copper, 10% Zinc; 1910°F Melting Point

Copper: 99.9% Copper, .1% Trace; 1981°F Melting Point

Silver (Nickel, Alloy 752): 65% Copper, 17% Zinc, 18% Nickel, 2030°F Melting Point

Steel Sheets:

What is it?

Steel for use in the metal shop.

Actual dimensions: 

Sheet Steel is sold per whole square foot and in 12” x 12” sections only (not in half-foot amounts or by the full 4’x8’ sheet).

Please see the diagram below:

Steel Rounds, Square Bars & Tubes:

Actual dimensions: 

Flat, Round, and Square stock is sold per foot. Depending on the type, these stocks have a maximum length of either 10’ or 12’.

Looking for more information? Reach out to us at and we’ll do our best to answer your questions!